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Blind Man Able to Keep Life-Saving Dog After Donations Pour In: 'The Spirit of Christmas is Here!' He Says

The blind man who was rescued after his guide dog woke him up and stayed with him as a train rolled over the duo has received another blessing. Cecil Williams was overjoyed to learn that people across the nation had rallied to support him and raise enough money for him to keep the guide dog, named Orlando, as a pet once he retires.

"I think it's a time to rejoice… It's goodwill on Earth, all these donations. I'd like to say thank you, but I'm looking for some more words to describe how it feels… it's a blessing, a miracle," Williams told reporters gathered at his room in St. Luke's Hospital.

Earlier this week, Williams felt faint while waiting for a train; he then fell onto the tracks, dragging Orlando with him. Orlando worked to wake his owner, and once he did, stayed beside him the entire time. An oncoming train was able to slow down, and an MTA official at the scene was able to tell Williams to lie down in a deeper trench with Orlando, preventing more serious injuries to them both.

"Orlando stayed down there with me. He was licking my face. He was there for me. Guide dogs serve a purpose, and they are very loyal and they are very good. Orlando is always there for me; he drives me through the sidewalks, he gets me across the streets, he's always looking out for me. That's his job," Williams told New York's Daily News.

But Orlando, who has worked for 11 years, will retire in January. Williams' insurance will no longer cover the cost of a non-working guide dog, but thanks to donations from people across the nation, the two will still be able to be together. Two different websites raised money for the two, and the amount came to an astonishing $45,000. A Good Samaritan named Andrew Piera even offered to pay for all of Orlando's expenses for the rest of the dog's life.

"The spirit of Christmas exists here! It's in New York!" Williams said upon learning of all the donations and help. "I appreciate that people got together and helped me to keep Orlando. It is going to cover him for the rest of his life. All the people that contributed or donated, we should take our hat off to them. There's still good people in this world."

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